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A Search for Tradition & A Search for a Language

Book hardcover

A Search for Tradition & A Search for a Language

Commentary or analysis Publication year: 2011

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Illustrated with sketches and watercolours by Rita Angus
Introductions by JM Thomson
Afterword by Jack Body

In twentieth-century New Zealand, outstanding music, art and literature sprang from the tender roots of a new culture shaped by physical and artistic isolation.

These talks, given in 1946 and 1969 by Douglas Lilburn, the first composer to develop his career almost entirely in New Zealand, describe with astounding clarity the uncertainties and demands of a creative life, '...worked out in the totally new context of these islands...'.

Issues of heritage, education and environment are confronted with an uncompromising honesty that has the power to challenge cultural thinking in the twenty-first century.

These are words, like Lilburn’s music itself, measured, carefully poised, challenging.
Allan Thomas

Above all, he [Lilburn] shows us not only how to stand upright, but also how to dance around a little.
Bill Manhire

... you just wish a copy was on every Kiwi bookshelf.
William Dart

Read Lyell Cresswell's review on The Listener website here


112pp; vi; 106p


Publisher note

Lilburn Residence Trust in association with Victoria University Press

Author note

Douglas Lilburn